Raging through Time: The Art of David Wojnarowicz

Jan 23, 2016 - Jul 31, 2016
Lilien Gallery

A writer, poet, painter, photographer, sculptor, filmmaker, performance artist, and activist, David Wojnarowicz is arguably one of the most important and influential figures of the 1980s New York avant-garde. This cameo exhibition will feature four recent donations of Wojnarowicz’s work, as well as a selection of several photographs and prints by that have been promised to the museum.

Born in Red Bank, NJ, Wojnarowicz settled in the East Village by the 1980s and quickly involved himself in the downtown art world. Through his friendships with artists such as Peter Hujar, Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, and Keith Haring, Wojnarowicz began to exhibit his work in group and solo shows at such notable spaces as Civilian Warfare, Club 57, Gracie Mansion, Fashion Moda, and the Limbo Lounge. His inclusion in the 1985 Whitney Biennial cemented his place in the art world.

Organized chronologically, the exhibition is divided into three sections. The first includes three photographs and a print from the late 1970s in which Wojnarowicz seeks to compress time, creating anachronistic works through the appropriation of historical figures into contemporary settings. The second section explores the artist’s interest in the correlations between nature, mythology, and the modern world. The final section, comprising late-career prints, looks at the effect his diagnosis with AIDS in 1988 had on his artistic practice and output.

Organized by Sophie Ong, PhD Candidate in the Art History Department at Rutgers University and Andrew W. Mellon Summer Intern 2015, with assistance from Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director of Academic Programs

 

David Wojnarowicz
Untitled (Monkey Shield), 1983
Spray paint on trash can lid
Overall (diameter): 18 3/8 x 18 3/8 in. (46.6 x 46.6 cm)
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
Gift of Barbara Sunderman Hoerner
2014.015.002
Photo Peter Jacobs